- Posted by Johanna on June 18, 2006 at 1:19 pm
- Category: Archie Comics
A necessary but not very fun issue by Tania del Rio and Jim Amash (inks) in which events are assembled in preparation for an upcoming climax.
One of Sabrina’s aunts saves the Queen of the magical realm from an attack by a scary beast, a scene which drops an obvious hint about what the Queen’s secret might be. The Queen is threatened by a new character, an albino elf all in grey who I think should be scary, but whose platform shoes made me unable to take him all that seriously.
Meanwhile, Shinji wants to restart his dead parents’ secret rebel organization with Sabrina’s help, which leads to Sabrina revealing her own surprisingly sad childhood as a mixed witch-mortal. The events she describes would be very traumatic, and I’m with Llandra when she says “I had no idea. You’ve really grown up well adjusted considering that…” I’m right on the line of thinking that it’s too implausible that nice-girl teen Sabrina has this much of a disturbing past. It’s one thing to get over past drama; it’s another to ignore it completely, and the latter makes for psychologically unstable and unbelievable characters.
(It allows for this charming cover, though, with Sabrina trying to connect with her younger self in the face of mysterious power.)
All of this is revealed through lots of conversation and thought balloons, which makes for a disjoined issue after the action-packed opening, although it’s reassuring to see Sabrina and Llandra work towards patching things up.
Perhaps unintentionally, the whole thing’s giving me a Star Wars vibe in small ways, and I’m surprised to see plot lines about deserting parents and political revolution. It’s not that teens aren’t interested — those kinds of things are common in fantasy manga — just that I’m not sure it’s the best match for the Teenage Witch. I kind of miss the more down-to-earth high-school-based dating stories.
Long-time fans will be pleased to note that this issue also demonstrates that the footnote in comics is not dead, with handy reminders to “see issue #65″ or 73 or whatever. It’s a reminder that if Archie doesn’t collect this whole storyline, once complete, into a manga-sized digest, they’re really missing the boat.